French Citizens Are Paying Hefty Fees For Professional Exorcisms

Demand for high-quality exorcists is on the rise all across France. Although there aren't official statistics on how many French citizens are ordering exorcisms, the number of "freelance exorcists" has dramatically increased in just the past few years.

Father Georges Berson, an official exorcist with the Catholic Church in Paris, says he could perform at least 50 exorcisms in one year. However, Father Berson says it's not unheard of for some of his colleagues to perform as many as 2,500 exorcisms annually.

Unlike Father Berson, "freelance exorcists" aren't affiliated with the French Catholic Church and they can charge clients for initial consultations and cleansings. The average price for a consultation is around €50 and the actual exorcism procedure could cost between €900 and €1,500.

Some independent exorcists in Paris make quite a hefty sum in a few days of work. For example, the Parisian freelance exorcist Gabriel Despréaux says he can earn at least €12,000 in one month without having to pay taxes.

A few of the regions in France that are seeing the highest surge of exorcisms are in Paris, the French Riviera, and Lyon. Some exorcists say these areas have the highest concentrations of unclean spirits.

There are many theories for the recent boom in exorcisms in the European nation. Some Catholic priests believe it's simply easier for people to contact a freelance exorcist online nowadays. Although there are about 100 official priests who can perform exorcisms, many of them haven't offered their services in the past.

A few religious experts believe more French citizens are afraid of demonic entities after the recent terrorist attacks in cities like Paris and Nice.

Yet another explanation for the rise of exorcisms has to do with the popularity of TV shows like "The Exorcist."

While France is undoubtedly the top nation in Europe when it comes to exorcisms, the Catholic Church says that requests for exorcisms are rising all across the EU and the UK.

Between 63 and 66 percent of the 67 million people living in France identify as Roman Catholic.

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